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Fluence, Innexo Study 'No-Veg' Growing Method for Cannabis

The process could help cultivators save on energy costs.

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Fluence

Fluence, a provider of LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and food production, announced today the continuation of its partnership with Dutch organization Innexo BV (Innexo), a specialty agricultural contract research organization that focuses on molecular farming and medicinal plants.

Fluence and Innexo’s research partnership is focused on assessing the viability of cultivating cannabis without a standard vegetative phase, a practice generally associated with lower energy use that passes savings directly to growers in Europe and around the globe. Preliminary data from Fluence and Innexo demonstrates the potential of the “no-veg” growing method to help growers save money while improving quality and consistency. The Fluence and Innexo teams intend to collaborate on a full-scale research project to validate these initial results.

Most commercial cannabis cultivators use a vegetative phase to ensure proper plant growth to support flower weight and to gain a full and dense canopy. This phase can last anywhere between seven days to four weeks, requiring a significant investment of time, electrical energy and resources. Initial findings from Fluence and Innexo demonstrate the potential of this method to maintain crop quality and yield while creating up to 55% savings on annual electrical costs directly associated with lighting.

When the plants would typically enter the vegetative phase, they were instead transplanted to the flowering room, where they immediately received their maximum light intensity. In this system, cannabis crops reach their final height—between 70 and 120 cm—around 28 days after transplant. Eliminating two weeks of vegetative phase represents up to 252 hours of direct electricity savings per light per crop cycle. Additional savings are realized through lower HVAC costs and generally more efficient cultivation cycles. Initial research indicates that “no-veg” growing is most effective with plant densities between eight and 10 plants per m2. Thus far, research has tested the viability of “no-veg” growing across six cannabis cultivars, 10 different nutrient lines and a wide range of light intensities.

Fluence and Innexo’s research uncovered potential savings for growers who pursue growing without a vegetative phase, including an average of both 40% lower electrical costs and up to 40% lower labor costs per crop cycle. Because of the fast-paced growth of the plants, researchers found there was less time for pests and diseases to develop, leading to a healthier end product. In addition, this method could reduce waste by eliminating C-Grade flower, which allows for more crop cycles per year and increases overall predictability for growers.

Fluence and Innexo’s research collaboration, which began in 2022, has expanded to include collaborations in three of Innexo’s Acceleration Platform for Innovation (API) programs. API empowers innovative, small-scale companies adjacent to the cannabis industry to perform research in medical cannabis cultivation.

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